As the MLS summer transfer window opens, here are five potential Designated Players who would prove fantastic additions to the league.
Lampard’s arrival is seemingly all but a formality, with Manchester City-owned New York City FC widely reported to be announcing his recruitment in the coming days. With the expansion side not set to begin play until 2015, the former Chelsea star would then be loaned out to Australia’s Melbourne City FC, along with teammate David Villa, before returning in January for pre-season training.
The 36-year-old may well be past his prime but there’s no question that his profile would still be a major boost to the league, with possibly a few long-range goals added in for good measure.
This one may seem a long shot but, given that MLS has been able to coax the likes of Michael Bradley, Jermain Defoe and Kaka to the States recently, it’s perhaps not as far-fetched as one would assume.
Tipped to leave Manchester United this summer after a tumultuous 2013-14 season, a move to another European outfit seems most likely but there’s no doubting the impact Hernandez could have in the US, especially in a market with a sizeable Mexican population.
The league has proven itself willing to splash the cash when stars are involved and they would surely push the boat out for the 26-year-old should the opportunity arise.
Alessandro Del Piero
Del Piero had been linked to MLS for some time prior to signing with A-League side Sydney FC in 2012, and that avenue is now being re-explored following his departure from the club in April.
The Juventus legend has said that he would be open to the idea of playing in the States and has reportedly already held talks with both the LA Galaxy and D.C. United, although recent interest from Celtic could potentially scupper any American-based deal for the 39-year-old.
With AC Milan announcing their intentions to sell the ex-Manchester City forward, several signs point towards MLS being his next destination. Having already signed former teammate Kaka, expansion side Orlando City FC have reportedly been courting the 30-year-old for several months, with Brazilian majority-owner Flavio Augusto da Silva keen to add another Selecao international for their 2015 debut season.
Orlando face competition, however, with the LA Galaxy, Chicago Fire, New York City FC and the New England Revolution all reportedly pursing his services, in addition to Flamengo back in Brazil.
Arguably the USA’s top player at the World Cup, Jones is coming off a six-month spell with Besiktas, after previously trying to make a move to the US last winter from former club Schalke.
Having openly expressed his desire to suit up in MLS several times in the past, the German-born midfielder is now keener than ever to make the move and could well see his impressive form over the past few weeks yield a lucrative DP contract with some side.